En EspaŅol
Share

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants

Mr. Smarty Plants - Determining whether a wisteria is native in Katy TX

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

Search Smarty Plants
    
 
See a list of all Smarty Plants questions
Can't find the answer in our existing FAQs, submit a question to Mr. Smarty Plants.

Need help with plant identification, visit the plant identification page.
 
rate this answer
1 rating

Friday - July 30, 2010

From: Katy, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Invasive Plants
Title: Determining whether a wisteria is native in Katy TX
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

If a wisteria is blooming after the leaves are out (there are a couple of blooms right now, in July), is it a sure sign that this is a native Texas wisteria?

ANSWER:

Hey, in Nature nothing is a sure sign of anything, and Mr. Smarty Plants is not going to get pinned down on that one. American wisteria, Texas wisteria and Kentucky wisteria are all the same plant: Wisteria frutescens (American wisteria). All we can do is refer you to our page on that plant by following the link, where you can read about its appearance and characteristics. You will note on that page that it blooms in May and June, and only on new wood.

Next, we will do some research and find some information on the non-native wisterias, Chinese wisteria or Wisteria sinensis. The link will take you to Invasives.org, Center for Invasive Species and  Ecosystem Health. You will quickly learn why we do not like non-native species in our gardens from this website, which has several links to other websites on the plant. Of particular interest among those websites, we thought, was from the USDA Forest Service Weed of the Week. According to that site, Wisteria sinense blooms in April and May.

You didn't say how long you have had the plant; if it has been there for a while and hasn't overgrown the house, any trees around, and children, you probably have a native. If it is newly planted, and purchased from a local nursery, you may be in trouble. If it starts showing fast-growing, invasive characteristics, kill it while you're still bigger than it is, and most especially, don't let it go to seed. It is a legume, and has long seed pods which, spread by animals, people or wind, will soon have all your neighbors mad at you, too.

Pictures of Wisteria sinense from Google:

From our Native Plant Image Gallery:


Wisteria frutescens

Wisteria frutescens

Wisteria frutescens

Wisteria frutescens

 

 

 

More Invasive Plants Questions

Is it OK to plant Huisache in southern California?
June 15, 2009 - We have a wonderful huisache growing on a very dry rocky/dusty slope. It has now sprouted babies and we are delighted because we have room for several more on this slope. I have some room on our front...
view the full question and answer

Problems with Habiturf in Austin
May 10, 2014 - I have been trying to establish a Habiturf lawn in my back yard. It is approximately a 1,000 square foot area and this last seeding was the third over about one and a half years. I just recently over ...
view the full question and answer

Fast-spreading desert-type tree with thorns in yard
July 21, 2014 - There is a fast spreading tree in my backyard - many multiple almost symmetric flat green oval leaves on either side of the stem (sort of like a moringa tree but this is not that). Grows straight up, ...
view the full question and answer

Poverty Weed in Wimberley, Texas
September 20, 2008 - I have seen differing reports about the native plant, Baccharis neglecta or Poverty Weed. Some reports say it is invasive and others consider it an acceptable native plant. I have quite a few Povert...
view the full question and answer

Getting rid of Japanese bindweed in Massachusetts
February 04, 2009 - How do you get rid of Japanese Bindweed (mile-a-minute)?
view the full question and answer

Smarty Plants's Facebook profile Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.

Mr. Smarty Plants wants you to be his Facebook friend. Click the Facebook icon to add yourself to Mr. Smarty Plants list of friends.
E-NEWSLETTER | BECOME A MEMBER | DONATE NOW | MEDIA | SITEMAP
© 2014 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center